The Penobscot Marine Museum has received a “challenge grant” in memory of Edith P. Murphy of Rockland, who served as registrar at the museum, and who died last August after a yearlong illness. According to museum Executive Director Niles Parker, an anonymous donor has offered to match all donations made in Murphy’s name through March 31, up to a total of $10,000.

As registrar at the Penobscot Marine Museum from 2002 until 2009, Murphy was responsible for keeping track of artifacts and ensuring proper environmental conditions for storage and display. “Edith performed a remarkable amount of work for the museum and did a wonderful job at implementing new procedures, caring for our artifacts and elevating our collections management standards at PMM,” said Parker.

“Our collections and the material culture of our state are far better off because of her work.” We are incredibly sad to have lost Edith, who was our colleague as well as friend, but are grateful that such a thoughtful and meaningful gift has been made to recognize Edith and her many contributions, while also supporting the ongoing efforts of the museum.

Murphy also worked as registrar for the Farnsworth Art Museum and did special projects for the Colby College Museum of Art, the Abbe Museum, and the Maine State Museum.

Donations toward the matching grant in Murphy’s name can be sent to the Penobscot Marine Museum, P.O. Box 498, Searsport, ME 04974. The telephone number is 548-2529. Donations can also be made online at

The Penobscot Marine Museum was founded in 1936 and is Maine’s oldest maritime museum. Its Searsport grounds comprise 13 historic buildings, including ship captains’ homes, an early town hall and two boat houses. Eight of the buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places, and together they represent Searsport when it was a bustling port during the Age of Sail. Inside the historic structures, artifacts, exhibits and interpreters tell the stories of Maine’s seafaring past.

The Penobscot Marine Museum is located at U.S. Highway 1 and Church Street in Searsport.